Blood on Mcallister

Blood on Mcallister by Matt Chisholm Read Free Book Online

Book: Blood on Mcallister by Matt Chisholm Read Free Book Online
Authors: Matt Chisholm
Why, do you know him?’
    â€˜Yep, I know him.’
    â€˜You sound doubtful. Don’t you like him?’
    â€˜Sure,’ said McAllister. ‘I like him fine.’
    â€˜Where’d you meet up with him?’
    â€˜You saw him perform then.’
    â€˜Sure did. He was great.’
    â€˜He’s come to Clanton to take on the local champion and I’m hoping he runs his Goddam legs off, that he beats his head off and he makes him look the damn fool he is in front of the whole country.’
    â€˜Pa,’ Pat said, ‘you shouldn’t talk that way.’
    â€˜Strikes me,’ McAllister said, ‘you’re sadly lacking in local pride, Jim, if you want to see your local man beat.’
    â€˜See him beat,’ Jim cried, ‘I hope Gage kills him.’
    Pat said: ‘Pa, you know you don’t mean that.’
    â€˜I mean every damn word of it.’
    â€˜Who is the local feller?’ McAllister asked.
    Rigby calmed down a mite.
    â€˜Clem Brenell,’ he said.
    McAllister then saw just what Rigby meant.
    â€˜I seen Brenell,’ he said. ‘I know how you feel.’
    Pat said: ‘I don’t know Why pa carries on so about Clem. There’s nothing wrong with Clem a good wife couldn’t put right. He’s just a little wild.’
    â€˜I’ve told you, Pat, and told you again and again,’ Rigby said, ‘the boy’s the old man’s gun. He’ll come to grief, mark my words.’
    â€˜Nonsense. He’s a nice boy.’
    â€˜That nice boy nearly had my hide yesterday,’ McAllister said. ‘I wish I was Billy Gage and had the chance of knocking some of the stuffing outa him.’
    â€˜You’d have your work cut out, Rem,’ Rigby told him. ‘Now honey, I aim to put Billy and his manager up in the barn. I’ll make a coupla mattresses up with straw. Let me have some spare blankets.’
    â€˜His manager’s comin’ too, huh?’ McAllister said idly.
    â€˜When’s the contest?’
    â€˜Day after tomorrow. Why, the whole country’ll be there. I never saw such wagering in my whole life.’
    Pat said: ‘Pa bet two hundred dollars on Billy Gage, you know that? Two hundred dollars! And he talks about Clem being wild. If that isn’t wild I don’t know what is.’
    â€˜That ain’t wild,’ Rigby protested. ‘That’s a certainty. Gage’ll knock his fool head off his shoulders.’
    â€˜But he won’t run faster than Clem. Nobody can run like Clem.’
    â€˜Aw, he’s Goddam perfect.’
    McAllister said: ‘You’re goin’ to be a mite crowded around here, Jim. I’ll move into town.’
    They protested at once. They wouldn’t hear of such a thing. They hadn’t seen him in a long time and they wanted to see all they could of him. Besides, Rigby added, he could run and fight better than average and he might like to help Billy get into the peak of condition. That amused McAllisterand he said, all right, if they wanted it and he wouldn’t be in the way, he’d stay.
    Later in the day when he was fooling around in the corral with a young horse, a rig drove out from the direction of town. Driving it was none other than Harry Shultz. Sitting beside him was Billy Gage. Rigby and his daughter came forward to greet them, Pat stood there smiling and blushing and McAllister left the corral. Walking toward them, he watched them closely. Shultz’s face was worth seeing when he sighted McAllister. His mouth dropped and fear flitted momentarily across his face. Billy Gage exclaimed with what appeared to be genuine pleasure at the sight of him and hurried forward to shake his hand.
    â€˜Why, McAllister, this is great. I wondered when we’d see you. Sorry I had to rush off from Abbotsville, but Harry had a telegraph from Clanton and we had to come here fast.

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